Summer Makeup Essentials: Perfecting the "No Makeup" Makeup Look


I’ve always struggled with summer makeup - I really dislike the feeling of heavy foundation on my skin and add in the heat and humidity and it’s a mess. We all know the sun isn’t very forgiving to the skin and layers of makeup can look extremely harsh in the daylight. What’s a gal to do? After much trial and error, I’ve finally perfected my quick and easy summer makeup that stays all day and looks natural. Here are my essentials:

Tinted Primer


Rather than use a BB/CC cream or a tinted moisturizer in the summer, I prefer to use a tinted primer. They offer sheer coverage and have the benefits of smoothing the skin and blurring pores without being mask like. Summer skin should look as natural as possible, and a tinted primer is a true “your skin but better” base. To apply, I use a small amount warmed between my fingers. I apply to my cheeks and forehead first, and then take the remainder on my fingers and tap it onto my T Zone. This application method serves two purposes: the tapping motion onto the pores gives more of a blurred effect, and since you are using only the remainder of product in your T zone, you aren’t going to have a buildup of product right in the middle of your face. One of the best makeup tips I ever received was to not use a lot of foundation on or around your nose. It’s one of the focal points of the face, and minimal makeup on the nose gives the impression of minimal makeup all over the face. Right now I am loving this Gee Beauty Tinted Power Primer (I have the Light shade) that my beautiful friend Maria introduced me to. I rotate between this and the Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base in Nude Radiance 01.

Hydrating Concealer


Summer isn’t the time for full coverage, but concealing redness and brightening the eyes goes a long way. I swear by my Charlotte Tilbury Retoucher as it gives lightweight coverage while brightening and hydrating. I swipe the pen around my nose and lips, onto any blemishes, and all around the orbital bone, blending outwards and upwards to give a lifted look. I take whatever is left on my brush and apply it to my eyelids and under my brows to even everything out. I find applying concealer to the orbital bone instead of directly under the lash line gives a more natural look and avoids having the pigment crease when it’s too close to the eye.

Translucent or Tinted Setting Powder


A good summer powder is one that will keep your face fresh and comfortable all day without over drying the skin. Powder will set your primer and concealer for all day wear and offer another sheer layer of coverage on the skin. On great skin days, I go for the ByTerry Hyaluronic Powder. It gives a beautiful matte finish to the skin while hydrating and keeping makeup out of pores and fine lines. It’s an investment, but a little goes a long way. When I want a little extra coverage, I reach for a lightweight tinted powder. I am loving the Urban Decay Naked Skin Powder Foundation and the Jane Iredale PurePressed Base . Both are weightless on the skin and subtly even skin tone without looking like makeup at all.

Matte Bronzer

 I know a lot of people reach for shimmering bronzers and blush for summer but I prefer a matte look when it comes to sculpting and warming the face. I apply bronzer liberally with a large bronzer blush, focusing on the hollows of my cheeks, temples, forehead, nose, and chin - everywhere the sun would naturally hit. Swiping the bronzer along the hairline and forehead helps to warm the entire face and bring a great summer glow to any look. I also take the bronzer on a flat liner brush and run it along my top and bottom lash line. A neutral eye is a must for daytime summer makeup and the bronzer allows for subtle definition without being overpowering. For extra definition, run the bronzer along the crease of the lid and then use an angled brush to softly define brows. Bronzer can do so much for the face, there’s a reason I own so many of them! The Marc Jacobs Beauty O!MEGA Bronzer is a great matte option. 

Eyelash Curler and Defining Mascara

Light, long, lifted lashes go a long way in the summer, curl those babies! Most of the time I only apply mascara to my top lashes - I find it brightens and lifts the eye, and also eliminates any fallout from the bottom lashes on hot, humid days.

Tinted Lip Balm


A hydrating balm with a tint of colour completes a no makeup makeup look in the summer. I usually prefer pinks to reds, but this Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Rosé is a perfect blend of both. It hydrates all day and gives a buildable sheer colour.



I don’t necessarily think you need anything else for a perfect healthy summer makeup look, but I prefer to lightly dust on a pink blush for some added colour. If I haven’t filled in my brows with my bronzer, I will definitely use this Benefit Gimme Brow Volumizing Fibre Gel - natural hold and definition without being chunky and stiff. This is a staple in my makeup bag year round. I also rely heavily on setting spray and this Mac Fix + is my favourite - hydrates without being greasy and is a great refreshing pick me up mid day that won’t disturb makeup.

All of this can be done in 5-10 minutes and gives a complete and polished look. I don’t have perfect skin, but especially in the summer I don’t mind if there’s a little bit of redness or an old blemish scar peeking through - I think it gives a more natural appearance than a completely airbrushed complexion. All of this is always done after applying SPF, and during the day I’ll reapply an SPF spray overtop of makeup anytime I go outside. Never forget to protect that beautiful skin!

Have a great week,